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I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Monday, November 30, 2009


We had a lovely quiet Thanksgiving. How about you? Jessie helped me with the awesome gift bird, by preparing a brine and parting the succer. It wouldn't fit, whole, in the brining container. Man, that bird was GOOD! The girls (and little bit of Jessie) and I whipped right through it. Today we're enjoying some lentils made in the broth with some turkey bits, carrot slices, and celery slices. The broth we made from the turkey drippings and carcas is amazingly delicious... so anything we put it in takes on that same amazingly awesome flavor. Could it be that the flavor is enhanced by the love of the gift? Me thinks the answer be YES! :)

The trip to Virginia seems secure, which is such an amazingly tremendous and unexpected gift and blessing. I'm still nervous. I mean, COME ON... I'm driving 12+ hours with three littles on my own (and that's just ONE WAY)! Additionally, though not a cause for nervousness, Jessie has this Christmas off. In case you didn't know, that's THE FIRST in MANY years that he'll actually be around ON Christmas. Unfortunately (and fortunately?) we won't be!!! How ironic, eh? I prayed about whether we should go up North after mention was made of the intended gift. I did actually feel really conflicted. The Lord made it very clear to me that He would have me in Virginia. So, VA is where the girls and I will be....

We found out only moments ago that the seller's bank has signed the contract AND wants to close on the house by December 30 (in the contract we have the closing set for January 31st). So, we're excited. Still nervous about not having the closing costs, though! I've developed a plan, but am nervous even about the application of it. I keep talkin' myself UP, though, with phrases like: "God's got it!" and "Let go, let God." and so forth. I'm still struggling, but truly trying to remain focused on the fact that we really are doing this because we believe it is what the Lord would have us do. As a matter-of-fact, because of the closing cost stress, if I didn't firmly believe that Heavenly Father made it clearly known to me that we SHOULD be doing this, I would feel strongly (of myself) that we should cut our losses now and pursue this course no more! Seriously. Since I feel so strongly that Jess and I are understanding the Lord's Will clearly on this, I 'simply' (HA!) have to keep talkin myself up that He truly WILL work it out.

In other, and really unrelated,news; so far my Ward has three families growing in 2010. Two of them are expecting their very first babies! I'm excited because Jess and I, though not preggie, have been expecting to welcome an addition to our family sometime in 2010. So, we'll have a big YOUNG nursery in 2012, eh? :) Oh, and then one of my sisters (the one I grew up with) is expecting... so I'm also rather hoping that the other actively growing family in our family will turn up preggie, too. It happened about a year and 9 months ago... so it could happen again! And to me (and I think my sister, too), this would be SUCH a joy and pleasure because then, when we ever get together (especially the whole family!), there will be play groups of cousins! What a pleasure that would be!!! I know... I'm a goofball. I know.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Miracles Pouring

So, a mere week and a day ago there was some reason for concern (as well as me talkin' myself back up to faithfulness) and some excitement. There is progress I want to share regarding both.

Before I begin, I hope you will keep in mind throughout that I am sharing much in hopes of relating to you how truly amazing, wonderful and loving I know Heavenly Father is to me and my family. AND how He is a personal Father. He knows us as individuals and meets our needs as we live in Faith... and as we NEED (whether for physical necesity or testimony fortification OR both). There are things we have been dealing with that have been difficult and while I may mention some, I hope you will realize that I do so more to relate how trials are here, too. ;)

I believe I mentioned that we didn't have grocery money for this past week. We didn't. And we didn't spend any money on groceries. Kat asked to go to the grocery store any number of times, which I mention only because I find it really funny! (A kid who WANTS to go to the grocery store?? Obviously, Kat likes to eat.) After I finished my last post I felt a tremendous warmth and peace flow over and through me. I believe I needed to write what I wrote more for me than as any way of sharing our experiences!

Last Sunday we were given a bunch of bananas (about 7 individual bananas), 3 dozen eggs, and a pork shoulder! The combination of eggs (mixed up with some beans to make our bread) and pork made up our "big" meals throughout the week. What an awesome blessing and even miracle for us!

Monday we found out that the sellers of the house we made an offer on signed our offer late Friday night. That same day I was feeling really rough... SUPER tired. We had Family Home Evening in "our new home"! ^_^ It was, perhaps, silly, but we really wanted to start "owning" it! :)

Tuesday evening we found out that the seller's bank ('cause the property is a short sale) countered our offer. That same day I was feeling even more rough and my right boob had started hurting really badly. I went to bed quite early that night with a fever. ... ...the dreaded M... ... mastitis! :( Thankfully I know a "quick" remedy: buffered vitamin C, echinacea, sleep, and lots of nursing the baby on the sore boobie! I wasn't able to sleep as much as would have been best, but the fever broke during the night. My boob still had a fever through Thursday morning, though.

Tuesday we found out that the bank we're using for the mortgage needed 2007 and 2008 W2s. We'd sent those a while back when we first faxed over a ton of info. Jess brought the envelope back after he sent the fax and I proceeded to pack it. Tuesday night I went through the packed boxes TWICE and could not find the W2s. :( Thankfully we've used the same accountant for a few years, so Wednesday Jess called them to ask them to fax the W2s over to him. As the lady was doing that for him, she found a 2007 W2 stuck in with the 2008 tax return stuff. She told him she would be filing an amendment, so we would get a small check (BUT MONEY!) at some point in the future. uuummm... Can you say: YEAY? We sure do! Please remember this happened soon after we've felt very poignantly and upsettingly that we don't know how we're going to pay for all sorts of closing costs and other out of pocket expenses associated with buying this house... and then letting those concerns go because: God's Got It.

By Thursday night Jessie signed the contract and faxed it to our Realtor. As of now, we're waiting to hear that the other parties have signed before we order the appraisal. Amazing, right?! We're excited.

Friday Jess called a friend, who had suggested he might be able to take care of the survey (an out-of-pocket expense), to see if he was serious. He was serious and the only qualifier is that he wants Jess to be there when the survey of the land is done. We definitely have more time than money, so that's do-able! :)

Yesterday was a relatively quiet day (by the standards of the preceeding week!). I was able to finish (FINALLY) Tea's baby blanket and get some work done on her Tigger-doll.

Today a friend came by to deliver a 21 pound turkey and some fixins for Thanksgiving dinner!!! We do actually have grocery money this week, but we won't have to spend near as much (if anything) on meat now. What a HUGE and awsome blessing!!!!! With the food gift she also gave a cash gift, which will bolster our grocery budget very nicely! I may be able to get some plastic wrap! Let me tell you, it's difficult to store things without plastic wrap. ;)

Also today I found out that I may be able, through a gift, to make it to VA for Christmas. I'm afraid to be completely excited about that possibility.... I haven't been able to see my family together since my little sister's wedding. I'm nervous to be excited, but still feel really excited about that possibility! I hope it all works out so I can get up there.

Isn't it amazing? I mean, if we just talk ourselves up to being Faithful... Heavenly Father always is and when we work on our end.... It's just amazing!

I need to add here that I KNOW these things are wonderful and I feel totally loved an blessed... but I'm not special! Heavenly Father isn't favoring me over any one else. He has ready all kinds of similar and even totally different miracles for EVERYONE who comes Faithful to Him. The work we have to do (that I continue to struggle to do from moment to moment) is to remain Faithful and Obedient. How amazingly simple! And totally and completely difficult!! And awesomely, wonderfully, powerfully GOD!

I feel the need to bear witness to the way that Heavenly Father is a Father of intimacy, of individual attention, and of Love. His Love is unconditional. He cannot love me more now than He used to OR more than He loves anyone else because His love is not based on what I do or do not do. I know it. And I bear testimony of it. In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How to Buy a House...

If You're Basically Always Broke,
but believe Heavenly Father has confirmed that you should do it anyway.

Okay, so basically it just amounts to lots of prayer and Faith... but I'm going to expound... just because I'm verbose like that. :)


Start saving your pennies almost right after moving away from your parents' home so that you can visit there again some day. The only way to be successful at this, since you're basically always broke, is to round up every time you deduct money from your checkbook. After you fill a register, add up all the change and put that number in the very front of the next register (since you're least likely to be tempted to use it for future bills if you don't see it much). If you do this as long as I have been doing, for around 3 years, you might be able to amass just enough to pay for the round-trip in your gas-hog van. Also, make sure you spend all summer pinching pennies to save enough money for your daughters' dance costumes. Accrue enough for that right before the due date. Now, keep in mind, these are two expenditures you feel strongly about.


You have to know who you're going to look to for help in understanding the whole realestate mumbo-jumbo. In our case, we chose the Real Estate Agent whose wife re-inspired in us the consideration of buying a home.

A friend of mine suggested buying a home in October. Immediately I told her it wasn't going to happen because we had such a sweet deal where we were and we really didn't have any wiggle room in our super tight budget.... But then the seed started sprouting against my own desire. And we started to look. And... WOW... did we find some amazing deals out there. So, then we started to feel excited, but concerned about who we should look for as a Real Estate Agent. Ultimately we decided on my friend's husband after much prayer and pondering (because, don't-cha know, we have at least 2 other realtors in our Ward!).

Look online. Look in real life. Talk to your sweetie. Know the NEEDS and the WOULD BE NICES that you both agree upon in a place you would like to buy. Look some more (online). Get in to view a house to see if it's something you could deal with. Walk the land. Make an offer. Then wait.

And wait.

Start to worry aobut how you'll pay closing costs, good faith money, appraisal fee, inspection fee, and still feed everyone in the family during the whole process. Make sure to argue yourself out of the fear reiterating over and over that fear is the absence of Faith.

Wait until a couple days before the offer expires to learn that it's refused without a counter.

Feel TOTALLY relieved after initial surprise over the refusal. Wonder WHY you feel relieved because you really felt like Heavenly Father confirmed that it would be good for you to make the offer.... **

Look online some more later that same day your offer is refused. Find your dream house/property. Drive out to look at it that evening. Feel frustrated at not being able to drive by it, at least... because it was THAT difficult to find.

Make an appointment to see the property with your realtor. Make sure to find it online via GoogleEarth so that you will actually be able to find it in real life. Feel even more sure that this is where you want to be... then hear your sweetie who doesn't get excited about much of anything tell you that this is where you'll be (and hear/see that he's excited!).
View the property and home in person and feel like you've just entered the place you should be. See your unemotional sweetie actually visibly excited.
Send an offer and pray.
Worry some more about how to pay for everything that goes along with buying a house (mentioned previously), but continue to argue yourself into confidence in Heavenly Father's Will and the fact that it's all His program and He'll work it out.
Hear from your sweetie that the listing agent is pleased with the offer and quals of the buyer (you). Hear your sweetie that he is about to cry because the listing agent wants to send it over to the seller to sign. Feel completely amazed that he's expressing such emotion.
Hear that the sellers and listing agent are out of town until the 19th, but the bank is ready to sign on the offer.
Realize that every bit of money you've pinched and squeezed together is only enough for a fraction of the expenditures you will have to pay out of pocket for the house you didn't plan to purchase. Next, make sure that at least one person you or your spouse (or both of you) value accuses you of using your resources wrongly, unwisely, or misrepresenting how you've been living in the near or distant past... or maybe this person you value asks a question something like, "HOW can you afford to buy a house!?? I thought you never had enough for groceries." And then, said person, continues to tell one of you that the other has been asking for money regularly (which listener knows is not true).
Since that last bit has actually happened, here's my personal response:
When the Lord directs, I follow. When I realize the Lord's Will, I do my darndest to do it.
Currently I do not know where grocery money is coming from for the next week. The following week the amount available in the budget will be small, but I'm planning meals around beans and eggs (which actually make a REALLY wonderful bread, if you're in the know), canned veggies (still have some left from my 3 months supply that we've been slowly eating up), and any other bit I can mix up to a palatable form. It's amazing how wonderful things can turn out when you're doing your best!
I know it will work out because Heavenly Father's got the wheel. I gave it to him around the time I realized we were moving here (I was learning how to let go of it ever so slowly before that) and I've given it to Him over and over again since BECAUSE He is SO much better a driver than I am... especially since He knows me better than I can ever know myself in this state of partial amnesia that we experience in this mortal sojourn.
If our accuser(s) read here, I hope s/he will comprehend that we have never lied about or misrepresented our situation. It is not different, even now, even though Jessie has a much better job than he's had since he left the navy. How distressing should that be? Well, me thinks it should be VERY distressing... and sometimes I feel it as such. But I argue myself back in to BEING Believing. Cause Heavenly Father's got it. It IS His program, after-all.
STAY TUNED to find out what happens with our family buying a house...
even though we're basically always broke. ^_^
**I believe that this is true because Heavenly Father knows me so well. You see, I'm one of those who, if I understand the direction the Lord would have me take, I move to do His Will and attempt to do it and do it and do it until it's done. I am working on this weakness in me, believe me, I am. I believe Heavenly Father 'put a go' on the first property (us making an offer on it) to keep me occupied while He prepared the property that is our dream come true for us. After-all, if we are truly trying to be in tune with the Lord's Will, He will plant desires in our breast and then bring to fruition those desires.

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